June 13, 2006
Oh my god, that's me!
I was just picking up some lunch at the campus Union. Orientation is going on now for entering freshman, so it was more crowded than a usual Summer day. I happened to walk past the hall where they hold most of the orientation events and was a bit shocked to see myself up on the big screen at the far end of the hall. "Oh my god, that's me!"
A while back I was involved in the student health clinic's advisory committee. One of the directors asked if I would participate in a video the clinic was producing to show at orientation and highlight all of the services the clinic provides. They wanted to include some interviews with current students. I'd really come to appreciate the clinic's dedication to students and student involvement, so I happily said "yes" and showed up for the interview and just winged it.
Of course, I saw the video right after it was produced. It looked quite good. But I had one of those "that's what I look like?!" reactions to my portion of it. I was nervous during the interview and I tried to give thoughtful answers. What that came out looking like was that I was half asleep and a bit slow. Like I said, that was all a while ago, maybe two years, so I'd forgotten about it. Well, the video is still in rotation and "half asleep and a bit slow" looks even worse on a gigantic theatre screen.
Oh well, no Hollywood career for me...
March 8, 2006
Truth stranger than fiction: Hirsute crustacean
There are weird and wondrous creatures dwelling in the depths of the sea. BBC News today had this story of a lobster/crab-like creature living along the deep thermal vents of the South Pacific. A crustacean so unique -- with silky hairs along its arms -- that a whole new taxonomic family name was created for it. This creature has been dubbed Kiwa hirsuta. According to the article, Kiwa is "the goddess of crustaceans in Polynesian mythology," and the hirsuta refers to it's hirsute quality.
• In the picture, this creature looks like one of those long-armed toy monkeys -- a rally lobster in the making?
• Goddess of crustaceans, eh?
November 7, 2005
It's both disturbing and delightful...
how much varied information there is out there in cyberspace.
I was searching for my husband's wish list on Amazon.com recently. He has a birthday coming up, so I thought I'd get some ideas. When I couldn't find it (apparently, he hasn't granted public access), I became curious about how many wish lists are public. My last name isn't very common, so I ran a quick search in Amazon. Turns out there are 222 of us -- a lot more than I thought!
And it's weird how revealing some lists are about my fellow-named. There is Kim, who is interested in boat maintenance; Tammy, who wants to become a paralegal; and David, who is thinking of getting into online trading. There are lots of our group who are expecting a baby, judging by all of the cribs on their lists. I think Bo is a gamer. He's into Doom and Baldur's Gate and the Elder Scrolls. Kevin has more varied interests: celtic mythology, philosophy, and $20,000 futuristic tanks.
Of course, I don't have to guess the personalities for some. They have conveniently told me through their "About Me" section of their list. Lynn is a "teacher, Christian, mother." Gwen is a "Mary Kay Lady." I like Randy already because he is a "NICE GUY." But I'm mindful not to cross Terry, since he is "Old & Cranky."
June 22, 2005
So that's what those are...
I'm a little slow to pick up on the latest crazes, so I was thankful to the New York Times for answering a nagging question: what are those weird, stiff necklaces that so many pro baseball players are wearing?
Thanks to today's article, Is Your Bat Speed a Bit Off? Try a Titanium Necklace, I can now move on to other, more pressing, baseball apparel questions like what's the proper way to wear stirrups and will they ever make a comeback in the majors?
Actually, I do have a few more questions about the titanium hoops. Aren't they distracting to wear? I understand that they're light (being titanium) but they look like they bounce around a lot. One question I don't have is "do they work?" since that seems to be in the eye of the beholder...
April 6, 2005
The small world of New York television
It strikes me as both bizarre and hilarious every time it happens. We're watching "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and his guest comes out. They talk, Jon laughs, the guest laughs, we go to commercial, and before you know it, it's time for our "Moment of Zen" and the show ends.
We switch over to "Charlie Rose" on PBS, which starts just as "The Daily Show" finishes. "Tonight," Mr. Rose announces, "I am honored to have him (her) with us again, the always thought-provoking, and my good friend..." The camera pulls back and it's the same guest, in the same clothes, sitting across from Charlie. I always expect them to be out of breath after their imagined dash over from the Daily Show studios to make the Rose interview on time.
It happened again last night. This one I predicted the moment I heard Jon Stewart give his name - it was a classic guest for both shows. I knew we'd get to witness these two disparate New York interview shows appearing together in the same sky like a rare celestial event. The guest was Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist who is a Daily Show favorite and Charlie Rose's good friend.
I really enjoy both shows. I love the mocking political comedy and news buffoonery of "the Daily Show." It's a great comedic counter-weight to so much puffed up media excess. I also love the leisurely, engaging conversational style of "Charlie Rose." It's also a great counter-weight, a counter-weight to the short, frenetic sound bites and disembodied quotes that get shot out to you like so many tracer bullets.
The programs aren't all that different, I guess. They are both news-based, include interviews with people making the news, both have their studios in New York City. But when this celestial event happens, it does seem like worlds are colliding. And I look on in delight.
February 27, 2005
World Jump Day
Scientific research has proven that this change of planetary positioning would very likely stop global warming, extend daytime hours and create a more homogeneous climate.
This reminds me of a mathematics professor, Dr. Alexander Abian, who was at Iowa State when I was attending undergrad there in the early 1990s. He proposed blowing up part of the moon in order to stabilize weather here on Earth. When I Googled "ISU professor blow up moon", the first two hits were:
Hey, if that ain't prestige, I don't know what is.